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Old 11-18-2011, 07:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Full.Monte View Post
...While I don't like a lot of the stuff HF makes, I am also seeing a decrease in quality at Sears. Their hand tools still carry a lifetime warranty, but the power tools seem to be getting more poorly made all the time...more plastic parts, more shortcuts. I think they are buying their tools from other suppliers now and putting their name on them.
I never did like Sears power tools. Even Monkey Ward's were better. I also learned to never buy a tool frtom Sears that used consumables, such as staples, etc. Only the Sears brand would fit and Sears had a nasty habit of discontinuing tools, leaving you with a useless tool because you couldn't get consumables for it.

I stopped buying Craftsman hand tools when I had a bunch ripped off and the insurance company insisted on depreciating them even when I pointed out they don't depreciate if used properly because of the lifetime warranty (used properly, good handtools do not wear out; hammers and tools with cutting edges are possible exceptions). After that, I bought less expensive tools that held up just as well.

I'm pretty selective about what I get from HF. I limit myself to tools that will get only limited or light duty use. So far, I've had good luck with what I've bought but I will admit, a lot of it does look like junk.

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Old 11-18-2011, 11:54 AM   #16
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I am also seeing a decrease in quality at Sears. Their hand tools still carry a lifetime warranty, but the power tools seem to be getting more poorly made all the time...more plastic parts, more shortcuts. I think they are buying their tools from other suppliers now and putting their name on them.
I think they're getting more of their stuff from the same people that Harbor Freight does!
I haven't been to impressed with Craftsmans power stuff for quite awhile and you really have to watch their hand tool selection as well!

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Old 11-18-2011, 12:06 PM   #17
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I agree with the poor quality of Craftsman tools, a company can only float along on its reputation for so much time.. I gave up on Sears, in general, and GM long ago.

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Old 11-18-2011, 12:24 PM   #18
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I have several tool boxes, all of which are crammed full of Snap-on, MAC, S-K as well as some Craftsman. I also have some HF tools - those that are needed once then maybe never again. I do have 16 speed Taiwan HF drill press that has served me well for a good many years - but it's only used for hobby work. I have HF impact sockets - and so far, have not broken any. Now, to make some of the old timers unhappy, not all Snap-on tools say 'Made In America' any longer - they are "internationally sourced" tools, made where they are cheaper to manufacture - even - gasp - China
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:46 PM   #19
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Harbor Freight? Hah!

Originally Posted by Max Hubrich View Post
Nobody beats Harbor Freight for price on tools...
Northern Equipment comes close...

Our Harbor Freight is a drug rehab center, of sorts. The clerks are covered in jailhouse tats, many seem impaired. The line to check out is at least 15 minutes. Several times, I asked for information and the employee would disappear only to come back with red slits for eyes, and a partial answer or one not related to my question.

Once, I called for a raincheck item, they said it was in. When I arrived, the semi hadn't yet been unloaded, but they let me climb into the trailer and try to find the item (I did, after 20 minutes of diving and a pint of sweat). Dark, cramped, 120F. 'Took me back to my warehouse days...

When it came time to shop for a tire-changer, HF was the cheapest source. But, this time I'd learned; I ordered it on line.

What arrived a week later were three leftover boxes taped together, the loose metal parts of the changer clanging around inside with not a hint of packing or wrapping. No owner's manual, no receipt, nothing. Some of the hardware had fallen out, I scavenged it from my shop spares. I was so impressed, I made a tongue in cheek presentation on YouTube beginning with a tour of my hangar (the RV is now parked in front of the green tool closets).

Feel free to watch it HERE.

After that experience, Northern Equipment opened near here, and I haven't looked back.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:49 PM   #20
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Hey Max, I'm a toolaholic too and I agree some of HFT are fine some not so. Most of it is good enough for me especially if it's a tool I don't use very often.
I also used to think drill bits break and not bend and if they bent they were junk. Maybe so, I have a couple of some what expensive DeWalt bent drill bits.
Also I finally found a set of those female torx wrenches at HFT and bought it. It only came with 4 sizes of the females. Do you remember what size I need to remove the solenoid on my starter?
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:01 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ramblin View Post
My dad, an avid backyard gardener, once took me along to the hardware store to buy some gardening tools. He was looking at one that he liked, and I said 'Look dad, this one is cheaper!' When I showed it to him he said: "Son, you never waste your money on a $2 hoe." Words to live by.
You really do get what you pay for.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:12 PM   #22
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I too have given up on Craftsman tools. It seems that now when you break one and take it back they give you a "reconditioned" one in its place.
I didn't buy a reconditioned one in the first place and don't expect to get one in return.
I have several Harbor Freight tools and when I break one I throw it away and get another one.

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Old 11-18-2011, 06:16 PM   #23
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northern tool is nice compared to HF. There are some things worth buying (like magnetic parts dishes for $1.99 or 12ton shop press for $120) and others worth chuckling at (rubber strap wrench)

Hand tools Ill only buy lowes or HD...since they are the "new" sears. Sears retail stuff has really missed attracting the next generation of users. Hopefully one day I can gift my tools (no crapsman in it) to my son. Probably have over $30k worth... bought piecemeal over the past 15yrs. Ive already outgrown 2 jlarge stainless rolling boxes and 1 huge Matco hutch box. I need a rolling cabinet just for my power tools.

Oh and dewalt has made sure the old 18v stuff is not compatible with the new 20volt lithium batteries. Always something!
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:34 PM   #24
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Husky and Cobalt work well enough for what I do these days. Like the op said. I have a set in all my vehicals. I do have a fully stocked roll away in the shed with higher quality tools in it from wrenching on motor cycles years ago.
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:27 PM   #25
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we buy from sears and harbour freight and have been pleased with most tools we have purchased at HF.
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:42 PM   #26
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I bought a high speed drill set fro Horrible Fright and too it back. I had to drill four 9/16 holes in 1/4" mild steel. I started with a 1/4" hole and went to 3/8", 1/2 and finally 9/16". First hole OK, send slower, 3rd, the 1/4" bit broke and never did finish the 4th hole.

The bits were so dull they were useless....so back they went.

I don't like cheap tools... you can easily hurt yourself.

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Old 11-18-2011, 08:09 PM   #27
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I have bought a couple of items from Harbor Freight.....3 Ton Jack Stands

I use them along with the tongue jack on my cargo trailer to hold up the tongue of the trailer and take the weight off the tongue.

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Old 11-18-2011, 10:19 PM   #28
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I've shopped there a few times, when I needed a bunch of security torx bits, or the like. I only buy Milwaukee power tools, and my hand tools are either Klein, Greenlee, or Snap On. I tend to find out what I need, then find it on eBay for the cheap, and get it that way. Most of my Snap-On tools cost less than the Home Depot brand.

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